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Hardware Review: NEC MultiSync PA241W £899

NEC ups the ante with its new range of professional displays

While we’re sure this display will be out of the price range for most Mac mini owners, we are positive, however, that any Mac Pro owners looking for a new screen should cast their eye over the latest 24-inch monitor from NEC. As per usual the company’s naming convention leaves a lot to be desired, but happily that’s by far the worst aspect of the PA241W. Not only is this a monitor packed with technology, but some effort has been made to make the unit aesthetically pleasing too. The bezel around the 24-inch screen is very small, the overall footprint is also small, and the stand not only looks pretty cool but the manoeuvrability of this display is unquestionably fluid – making for a comfortable experience on the desk. Technology-wise, this monitor is packed to the hilt. It features a 1920 x 1200 optimum resolution, 8ms response time and 16:10 aspect ratio. That’s just the beginning – it also features the much talked about IPS technology that Apple has famously included in the iPad and iPhone 4. IPS (In-plane switching) has been a preference in the colour-critical display industry, as well as in mission-critical multi- screen configurations such as the medical diagnosis and financial trading room arenas. This is because the technology allows for a wide viewing angle with negligible colour shift. In layman’s terms, this means the screen is clear, bright and colourful no matter which angle you’re looking at it from.
On the PA241W, the technologies in question make it a joy to use and, when you add to this the ability to easily customise and calibrate the screen settings using either your Mac or the very easy-to-understand control system on the monitor, you get a display that can turn its hand to everything. For gaming, design and general use, the response time and wide viewing angle come into their own. Colours are rich and vibrant with enough punch to separate darker scenes yet enough realism not to fracture the composition. The calibration options mean that you can tailor the display so it’s always fit for purpose. If you’re a professional designer or photographer then this is a display that you ought to seriously consider. For the casual consumer this will, despite the obvious advantages, be a little too pricey for consideration. A brilliant monitor, but far too expensive for mass appeal.